Posts from the ‘Jesus’ Category

In the resurrection Mary Magdalene was the first person to see Jesus

IN THE RESURRECTION MARY MAGDALENE WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO SEE JESUS

Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene

Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus was born of a woman, and in the resurrection it was a woman who Jesus first showed himself too.  This woman was one who loved Jesus very much.  Her name was Mary MagdaleneWe see Jesus humility in his resurrection, as well as in his crucifixionJesus did not rise and then march into the Temple to confront the religious leaders or Caiaphas; he did not dash to the Praetorium to say to Pilate, “I told you so!”; he did not go stand in the center of Jerusalem to impress the crowd.  Instead, Jesus revealed himself only to believers.  The first person to see him was a woman who had been healed and forgiven and who tearfully stayed at the cross and followed his body to the tomb.  As Jesus demonstrated throughout his life, he responded to those who waited attentively and faithfully.  Jesus dissolved the perplexities of the disciples.  He dried their tears.  He dispelled their doubts.  Jesus knows how similar we are to his original disciples, and he does not overpower us either.  Even though our faithfulness wavers, Jesus faithfully stays with us.

How did Mary become the first person to see Jesus?  Mary apparently followed Peter and John back to the tomb.  When the two disciples left, she was there alone, still crying, still hoping that somehow she could discover where Jesus’ body had been taken, but fearing the worst.  Then she saw two white-robed angels.  The angels actually looked like humans-not beings with halos and wings.  The angels had appeared to the women and then sent them to spread the good news that Jesus was alive, but apparently they were not in the tomb when Peter and John arrived.  Yet they are here again to speak to Mary.

They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”  Under normal circumstances this would seem to be an odd question.  People might be expected to be crying beside the tomb of a loved one.  However, the angels knew why the tomb was empty.  They also knew that if these people had listened to Jesus words about his resurrection while he was alive, they would not be sad and confused; instead, they would be leaping for joy.  So the angels question was not odd, but obvious.  It was not meant as a rebuke, but as a reminder of heaven’s perspective.  Mary simply answered the angels question with her fears, “They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.

Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”

She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”

Jesus said, “Mary.” Suddenly, to her amazement, she stood face to face with her living Lord.  Jesus spoke her name, and immediately she recognized him.  Imagine the love that flooded Mary’s heart when she heard her Savior saying her name!

Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”  Mary’s immediate response was to touch Jesus and cling to him.  But Jesus stopped her.

Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.'”

Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her.  “John 20:11-18 The Message (MSG)

Jesus sent Mary Magdalene to them with the first post-resurrection testimony.  Though it may be that Mary was formerly a woman of ill-repute, this did not keep Jesus from commissioning her to bring the gospel message to the apostles.  Mary was well qualified to be the messenger that Jesus chose to do the work of the Kingdom.  Today, women are in leading roles that have been chosen for them by our resurrected Lord.  It is time that all of us recognize their roles and let the work that Mary Magdalene was doing be an example of how the women of the world have been called by Jesus.

We have ministered this EASTER MESSAGE to you today from the THRONE of GRACE.  I leave you with My Hope that you have had the opportunity to experience the abundance of Jesus love, strength and patience that He shared with all of us this EASTER WEEKEND.  In JESUS CHRIST, I remain your brother PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

May each one of you receive a special blessing that is filled with an abundance of peace, love and joy this weekend.  Come back for our Easter Resurrection Praise and Worship Service which I will be preaching beginning at 12:30 am.  The subject of our Resurrection message will be, “I BELIEVE!”

Now if you have not receive the saving grace of our Lord and Savior, click on this short video clip and receive the Lord’s FREE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE:

Good Friday is our Holy Day for Reflection

GOOD FRIDAY OUR HOLY DAY FOR REFLECTION

Today, we as Christians celebrate this day as Good Friday; It is truly OUR HOLY DAY FOR REFLECTION.  For many farmers it is the day for planting their seeds for fruit bearing.  It is truly a very unusual day when you think deeply upon it.  And of course yes, we will ask the question, what is Good Friday?  Good Friday is observed on the Friday before Easter Sunday. On this day Christians commemorate the passion, or suffering, and death on the cross of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Pastor Davis is spending theses moments before God in prayer, meditation and deep reflections on the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ

Pastor Davis is spending theses moments before God in prayer, meditation and deep reflections on the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

How will you spend your GOOD FRIDAY?

We at VINE AND BRANCH WORLD MINISTRIES along with millions of BELIEVERS from all around the world will observe this day as a day of REFLECTION.  Reflecting on the life, death and resurrection of JESUS CHRIST as well as our own individual lives.  Let us pause and meditate on the life and death of Jesus as we experience the pain and anguish that Jesus felt as He hung on the Cross and bore our sins and the sins of the World.   Now let us watch this short Video Clip and reflect upon what this day really means to us.

As Jesus hung there on the cross, nails in his hands, feet and side.  Thrones on his head, bleeding from head to toe, he was teaching us the lessons of LOVE, COURAGE, PATIENCE, UNDERSTANDING, FAITH, and FORGIVENESS.  He showed us that Strength is made perfect in weakness.  This next video clip is a short version of all that Jesus did for us.  Now reflect upon this.

In closing, let me make this one thing very clear, and that is this, “we are citizens of a city of God which we did not build and can never destroy, and that city stands on this day taller than anything that we can ever image in our small minds.”   Before His death, Jesus told us that if this temple was ever destroyed, he would rise up and rebuild it within three days.  No one at the time could imagine what He was talking about, because of the resurrection of CHRIST, we now live in that city of God that no man can destroy.  On this GOOD FRIDAY, let us reflect upon what Jesus did for us, and now what we can do for others.  This video clip will help take you to that special place that allows your heart to be filled with peace, joy, and love. Now watch and pray.

This is our day of PRAYER, MEDITATION AND REFLECTION, let us pray for each other, then reach out and express our love for each other.  I pray for you and you pray for me.

Now if you have not experienced the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, click on this short video clip and receive your FREE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE…

 

WHO PREPARED THE PASSOVER MEAL IN THE UPPER ROOM?

WHO PREPARED THE PASSOVER MEAL IN THE UPPER ROOM?

 (Mark 14:12-17 Amplified Bible

The Last Supper was the most important meal that the disciples would share with Jesus, and someone had to get it ready for the Lord and His disciples. Who would that person be? During the meal Jesus took bread and wine and shared them with his disciples.

DINNER IN THE UPPER ROOM (Photo by PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER)

However, In order for the Passover meal, [THE LAST SUPPER] to be ready when Jesus and HIS DISCIPLES arrived and ready to be served and eaten, someone had to have knowledge of the this moment and gotten things ready for an event that not one of the disciples knew of.  Who was that someone and how did they get the word to get things ready for this historical event?  Here is an opportunity for each of you as Bible Scholars to put on your thinking hats, dig deep into the scriptures and come up with some concrete answers.  We encourage each of you to share your thoughts and research with all of us here on this WORLD STAGE.

Now listen to how Jesus set the stage for this historical moment to unfold in a moment and time that the world will never forget.  It begins, 12On the first day [of the Feast] of Unleavened Bread, when [as was customary] they killed the Passover lamb, [Jesus’] disciples said to Him, Where do You wish us to go [and] prepare the Passover [supper] for You to eat?  13And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, Go into the city, and a man carrying an [earthen] jar or pitcher of water will meet you; follow him.  In this case Jesus sent Peter and John (Luke 22:8).   14And whatever [house] he enters, say to the master of the house, The Teacher says: Where is My guest room, where I may eat the Passover [supper] with My disciples?  15And he will [himself] show you a large upper room, furnished [with carpets and with dining couches properly spread] and ready; there prepare for us.  In this case we do not know whether Jesus had supernatural knowledge in this instance or if he had made arrangements in advance is unclear (as in the incident with his Triumphal Entry.  It seems that in this instance this room had been reserved previously and kept secret, none of the disciples knew where they would eat this meal.

However, Jesus already knew that Judas would be looking for an opportunity to betray him without crowds around, so Jesus may have made these arrangements and kept them secret.

16Then the disciples set out and came to the city and found [everything] just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.  The house where the Passover meal was to be eaten probably was one of Jesus followers, because he knew exactly who the Teacher was and probably knew the disciples by sight.  Tradition says this may have been Mark’s home so this would have been Mark’s father.  Many homes had upstairs rooms large enough to accommodate Jesus and his twelve disciples.  As before, when two disciples went to get the donkey for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem, these two disciples found everything just as Jesus had said.  The preparations for the Passover would have included setting the table, buying and roasting the Passover lamb, making the unleavened bread, sauces, and other ceremonial food and drink that were a traditional part of every Passover meal.

Now that all the special ingredients have been gather into one place, the killing and roasting of the lamb is complete, who do you think it was that prepared this historical meal, and how would they know the time in which to have everything ready?  Now click on this video clip and let us pray together!

We encourage you to think deeply upon this matter and share your thoughts in our comment section.  We minister to you on this MAUNDY THURSDAY from a position of PEACE, POWER, PURPOSE and PROSPERITY.

Who is the betrayer at the dinner table?

 (MARK 14:17-20 AMP)

THE PLACE OF THE LAST SUPPER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE PLACE OF THE LAST SUPPER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

My brothers and sisters, this week allows us to go deep within ourselves and reflect upon that awesome moment in history that Jesus took upon His shoulders the agony of being beaten, humiliated in every way possible, suffering while being nailed and hanged upon a cross for all of our sins in order that we may have the opportunity to enjoy eternal life that God the father promised and sent His Son Jesus to die for.

Now use your imagination and image yourselves sitting down at the dinner table with family and friends and eating a well prepared meal as you discuss the family problems and current events which are suppose to be a very enjoyable moment.  Then image yourself not having the benefit of spiritual insight to know that one of your family members have been plotting behind your back to kill the head of your family, what would be your immediate reaction?  In the case of Jesus and His twelve disciples this is exactly what happen.

On that evening (Wednesday or Thursday), Jesus arrived in Jerusalem with the twelve disciples.  The meal was not to be eaten until after sunset and was supposed to be finished by midnight.

However, as Jesus and His Disciples were eating, Jesus spoke the stunning words, that quickly got the attention of everyone sitting around the dinner table that evening.  Jesus said, “One of you will betray me.”  The betrayer was one of his own chosen twelve disciples, a member of his own family, one with whom the meal was being shared.  Jesus words caused quite a stir among the disciples.  They had heard Jesus tell them three different times that he would soon die, but that one of them would actually betray Jesus saddened them greatly.

Although the other disciples were confused by Jesus words, Judas knew what he meant.  Apparently, Judas was not the obvious betrayer.  After all, he was the one the disciples trusted to keep the money.  Therefore, the disciples asked Jesus who the betrayer was; “I’m not the one, am I?” each one asked in turn.  Matthew records that even Judas asked the same question (Matthew 26:25).  Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray him, and he also knew that Judas would not repent.

In our studies we find that Luke wrote this about Satan, he said Satan entered into Judas Iscariot before he went to the religious leaders.  However, Satan’s part in the betrayal of Jesus does not remove any of the responsibility from Judas.  In God’s sovereign will and according  to his timetable, he uses sinful men.  But that doesn’t excuse their sin.  All people will be held accountable for their choices and actions.  Whatever Judas thought, Satan assumed that Jesus death would end Jesus mission and thwart God’s plan.  Like Judas, Satan did not know that Jesus death and resurrection were the most important parts of God’s plan all along.

All I can say in conclusion, is that this had to be one hellish feeling in the gut of each family member sitting around the dinner table that night knowing that one of them would betray the head of their family in such an evil way.

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SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP TO CARRY THE CROSS

SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP TO CARRY THE CROSS

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

And when they had [finished] making sport of Him, they took the purple [robe] off Him and put His own clothes on Him. And they led Him out [of the city] to crucify Him.

And they forced a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the field (country), to carry His cross.

And they led Him to Golgotha [in Latin: Calvary], meaning The Place of a Skull.  (Mark 15:20-22 AMP).

In verse 21, Mark tells us that Simon of Cyrene, was coming into the city from the countryside into the city of Jerusalem, but the Lord was traveling out of the city.  These two men were traveling in opposite directions.  Simon was coming in and the Lord was going out being led by the Roman Soldiers and a large crowd of haters.  Simon suddenly found himself turned around at the instructions of the Centurion and finds his life walking in exactly the opposite direction from where he was first headed.  Meeting Christ at this point and being forced to place his hands on the cross and carry it would be a life changing experience for him.

Now some of you might ask, “why would he ever mention Simon of Cyrene as the Black Hands on the cross, and how would he even know that Simon of Cyrene was a Black Man?  For those of you who are truth seekers, these would be legitimate questions to ask.  For me as a Minister of the Gospel, called and ordained to come boldly before the throne of grace, and speak truth to power, convince, rebuke, exhort and teach, it is my job to empower you with knowledge in order that you may know the truth and the truth will truly set you free.  (John 8:32)

For me to state here with absolute certain that Simon of Cyrene was a Black Man is impossible.  This is a question that has been debated by Scholars worldwide for hundreds of years.  However, I should start by pointing out it is difficult to determine with accuracy black men and women in the Bible because the Bible is color-neutral. There is never any reference to race or racial features. The main distinction throughout the Bible is between those that serve God and those that do not, whether as individuals or as nations. It is not definite that everyone from Ethiopia or Cyrene was black, but certainly you could reasonably assume that it was a good possibility. So this study will have to be considered reasonable speculation.

We know very little about Simon. We see from this Mark’s writing that he had come from the country to Jerusalem on this occasion, perhaps on business. He must have been a strong man. I don’t think the soldiers would have picked a weakling. God had appointed him to be there, not to help Jesus with the cross, but to encounter the one who was to be crucified for his sins. Except for Mark’s obscure reference to Rufus and Alexander we would have no more information about Simon.

What we do know about Simon called Niger is his name.  Simon is a Jewish name and Niger comes from the Latin word for “black”.  It’s safe to say he was Jewish and may have been called “Black” simply because of his looks.

Research shows that Simon of Cyrene was from a country in ancient northern Africa (bordering Egypt) called Libya. According to Spirit of English Magazine Vol. 10, pg. 286; in ancient times Libya contained two countries Cyrenaica and Marmarica.  Wikipedia [the on line encyclopedia], shares that Libya was until recent times, the home of one the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back to at least 300 BC. In the 1st century, the Jewish historian for the Roman Empire, Josephus Flavius, noted 500,000 Jews lived in Libya. By today’s standards, people from North Africa may or may not be classified as Black. The New Testament, let’s us in on the fact that Joseph, Mary and Jesus spent time in Egypt, This raises an equally intriguing question as to whether or not Simon’s friend, Joseph of Marmarica (a.k.a. Joseph of Marmore, Joseph of Arimathea, brother of Jesus’ grandmother) from the neighboring district of Marmonica/Marmarica, should also be classified as African or Black. –Satchell Intell.

We find here in (Matthew 27:32 NKJV).  Simon of Cyrene was from Ethiopia, and this text and the identity of this man clearly reminds us all of us today that all cultures were represented at Calvary and in the church.  This further reminds us that wise men of all ages would be honored to be allowed to perform the task that was conferred upon Simon of Cyrene, the Ethiopia from northwestern Africa.  Whether it was voluntary or by force, in any case, black hands were extended to help the Savior bear His cross.  The Ethiopian eunuch from Africa (Acts 8:26) was the first Gentile convert mentioned by name in the Book of Acts.  History reports that he returned to Ethiopia to found the Abyssinian Christian Church, which exists until this day.

May God’s saving grace, be with each one of you whose hands, regardless of their color, feel obligated to pick-up your cross and carry it this day be blessed with love, peace and power.  Only because Jesus loved all of us and died for our sins so we may  have the opportunity to celebrate his life, death and resurrection on this EASTER.

Thank you for studying with us today and may you receive all that you desire from the Lord as you walk into your divine destiny…

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Jesus death was a glorious victory at the cross

HOW JESUS TURNED HIS DEFEAT AT THE CROSS INTO THE MOST GLORIOUS VICTORY THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN (Luke 23:26-35 MSG)

Greetings to all My Brothers and Sisters in Christ, as we enter into the final week before the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, (which we call Easter), allow me to paint the picture of Jesus’ crucifixion in words and pictures for you. The story is a little longer than we normally present, but because of time constraints I did not want to break it up into two are three parts, just remember, this is not a normal story.

Therefore, I encourage you to listen up and read carefully what I am about to tell you: As they led him off,

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus. A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on. At one point Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. The time is coming when they’ll say, ‘Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! And Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!’ Then they’ll start calling to the mountains, ‘Fall down on us!’ calling to the hills, ‘Cover us up!’ If people do these things to a live, green tree, can you imagine what they’ll do with deadwood?”

Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution. When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, and the other on his left.

Jesus prayed while on the cross with the two thieves (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Jesus prayed while on the cross with the two thieves (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of GOD—ha! The Chosen—ha!”

At the time of Jesus death, crucifixion was considered the most painful and degrading form of capital punishment in the ROMAN EMPIRE. It was considered so horrible that it was used by the Romans only for slaves, those from the provinces under their control, and the lowest types of criminals. It was not to be used for a ROMAN CITIZEN. This is in accord with the biblical account of CHRIST’S death and with church tradition, which asserts that Peter was also crucified, but Paul, a Roman citizen, was beheaded.

Crucifixion as a means of execution probably grew out of the practice of displaying the heads of captured enemies or criminals on a wooden stake, like those used to build a wall or erect fortifications. Later, entire bodies were impaled. By Jesus time, crucifixion was a common sight.

Although methods of crucifixion seem to have varied throughout the Roman Empire, through biblical and historical accounts the basic pattern is known. The condemned person was first scourged with a flagellum, a whip of leather thongs with bits of metal or bone attached. This whipping greatly weakened the victim, who then had to carry the crossbeam to the place of execution. A sign specifying the crime was often placed around the criminal’s neck or on the cross. The person was stripped naked, laid on the ground with the crossbeam under his shoulders, and tied or nailed to it. Nailing made the victim die quicker, as it did Jesus,

The Agony of being nailed to the cross (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The Agony of being nailed to the cross (Photo by Pastor Davis)

whom the Jewish officials wanted dead before the Sabbath. The crossbeam was lifted and secured to a post so that the person’s feet were hanging just off the ground. Some archaeologists think a pin or wooden block was placed halfway up the post to provide a seat for the body so that the nails would not tear open the wounds, causing the body to fall. The feet also could be nailed or tied to the post.

Although the pain was excruciating, some victims survived on the cross for days. As in the case of the two criminals crucified with Jesus, the legs of a crucified person were sometimes broken to make the sufferer die. This caused massive shock, followed by loss of circulation and heart failure.

Although completely innocent of all sin, Jesus suffered the most horrible, disgraceful punishment known. But His agonizing death was not an ordinary death, for it was not the final chapter. Jesus turned this apparent defeat into the most glorious victory the world has ever known. At the Cross, He suffered for the sins of the world. Then after His resurrection from the dead three days later, Jesus empowered His disciples with a new message, the Good News that He had finally defeated the power of sin and death. Through the Cross, Jesus offers salvation to all who will believe in Him.

The Resurrection of Christ (Kinnaird Resurrection)

The Resurrection of Christ (Kinnaird Resurrection) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now listen to the words Jesus spoke to his disciples, He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And ye are witnesses of these things.  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:46-49 KJV)

As this story clearly shows, there is power in the word for those who believe. God never makes a promise that he cannot fulfilled. It is up to you to always stand on God’s promise, believe it and watch God work in your life.

When the light seems to be the dimmest and the enemy is attacking you on all fronts it is time to stand still and watch God work. With God there is nothing that is impossible. God is truth, he is also the light, when you know the truth, not what you perceive is the truth, but what God has spoken of as truth, you can rest assured that you will have peace in your life, and your soul will be free to experience the manifestation of that truth and the light that God has promised. No weapon that the enemy may train its sights on you with, can penetrate the armor that God places around you. You are a child of God, and God will never allow any harm to come to those who keep his word, stand on faith, and not be swayed like the motions of the ocean, always going back and forth.

Now know this, God wants you to experience victory over all aspects of your life. He allowed himself to experience a horrible death on the cross in order that you might enjoy the fruits of life. He defeated sin and death in order that you may have eternal life. What more can anyone ask for, to know that if you believe in the word, except the word as ruler of your life, you can experience the joy and satisfaction of knowing that you can have victory over the world.

Now in closing, let me state that believers today should always look to the cross in understanding GOD’S

The Cross is the Symbol of God's amazing grace (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The Cross is the Symbol of God’s amazing grace (Photo by Pastor Davis)

PLAN and purpose for their lives. The cross is no joke; it is the reality of Christ’s death for your victory over the world. You can continue to live in this world, partying and having fun, proclaiming that you are a Christian, but remember, your actions speak louder than your words. Jesus was not pretending when he allowed himself to be executed for our sins. We should obey the Lord in every detail as we seek to live a Christian life as we help those that are lost in Christ, find their way and understanding of THE HEART OF THE CROSS and what salvation truly means in their lives. If we truly want to know how to live a perfect life and experience victory over the enemy attacks on our well being, then I say to you right here in now, turn away from the world and look to Jesus as the perfect example.

May this lesson today be a blessing to your life and the people that God has placed in your life as a blessing to your soul.  Now we encourage you to use it, to bless others that we all may receive and experience God’s amazing grace.  I minister to you today from a position of peace, purpose, power and prosperity. I do this in the name of Jesus, Amen!

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SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP TO CARRY THE CROSS

SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP TO CARRY THE CROSS

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

And when they had [finished] making sport of Him, they took the purple [robe] off Him and put His own clothes on Him. And they led Him out [of the city] to crucify Him.

And they forced a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the field (country), to carry His cross.

And they led Him to Golgotha [in Latin: Calvary], meaning The Place of a Skull.  (Mark 15:20-22 AMP).

In verse 21, Mark tells us that Simon of Cyrene, was coming into the city from the countryside into the city of Jerusalem, but the Lord was traveling out of the city.  These two men were traveling in opposite directions.  Simon was coming in and the Lord was going out being led by the Roman Soldiers and a large crowd of haters.  Simon suddenly found himself turned around at the instructions of the Centurion and finds his life walking in exactly the opposite direction from where he was first headed.  Meeting Christ at this point and being forced to place his hands on the cross and carry it would be a life changing experience for him.

Now some of you might ask, “why would he ever mention Simon of Cyrene as the Black Hands on the cross, and how would he even know that Simon of Cyrene was a Black Man?  For those of you who are truth seekers, these would be legitimate questions to ask.  For me as a Minister of the Gospel, called and ordained to come boldly before the throne of grace, and speak truth to power, convince, rebuke, exhort and teach, it is my job to empower you with knowledge in order that you may know the truth and the truth will truly set you free.  (John 8:32)

For me to state here with absolute certain that Simon of Cyrene was a Black Man is impossible.  This is a question that has been debated by Scholars worldwide for hundreds of years.  However, I should start by pointing out it is difficult to determine with accuracy black men and women in the Bible because the Bible is color-neutral. There is never any reference to race or racial features. The main distinction throughout the Bible is between those that serve God and those that do not, whether as individuals or as nations. It is not definite that everyone from Ethiopia or Cyrene was black, but certainly you could reasonably assume that it was a good possibility. So this study will have to be considered reasonable speculation.

We know very little about Simon. We see from this Mark’s writing that he had come from the country to Jerusalem on this occasion, perhaps on business. He must have been a strong man. I don’t think the soldiers would have picked a weakling. God had appointed him to be there, not to help Jesus with the cross, but to encounter the one who was to be crucified for his sins. Except for Mark’s obscure reference to Rufus and Alexander we would have no more information about Simon.

What we do know about Simon called Niger is his name.  Simon is a Jewish name and Niger comes from the Latin word for “black”.  It’s safe to say he was Jewish and may have been called “Black” simply because of his looks.

Research shows that Simon of Cyrene was from a country in ancient northern Africa (bordering Egypt) called Libya. According to Spirit of English Magazine Vol. 10, pg. 286; in ancient times Libya contained two countries Cyrenaica and Marmarica.  Wikipedia [the on line encyclopedia], shares that Libya was until recent times, the home of one the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back to at least 300 BC. In the 1st century, the Jewish historian for the Roman Empire, Josephus Flavius, noted 500,000 Jews lived in Libya. By today’s standards, people from North Africa may or may not be classified as Black. The New Testament, let’s us in on the fact that Joseph, Mary and Jesus spent time in Egypt, This raises an equally intriguing question as to whether or not Simon’s friend, Joseph of Marmarica (a.k.a. Joseph of Marmore, Joseph of Arimathea, brother of Jesus’ grandmother) from the neighboring district of Marmonica/Marmarica, should also be classified as African or Black. –Satchell Intell.

We find here in (Matthew 27:32 NKJV).  Simon of Cyrene was from Ethiopia, and this text and the identity of this man clearly reminds us all of us today that all cultures were represented at Calvary and in the church.  This further reminds us that wise men of all ages would be honored to be allowed to perform the task that was conferred upon Simon of Cyrene, the Ethiopia from northwestern Africa.  Whether it was voluntary or by force, in any case, black hands were extended to help the Savior bear His cross.  The Ethiopian eunuch from Africa (Acts 8:26) was the first Gentile convert mentioned by name in the Book of Acts.  History reports that he returned to Ethiopia to found the Abyssinian Christian Church, which exists until this day.

May God’s saving grace, be with each one of you whose hands, regardless of their color, feel obligated to pick-up your cross and carry it this day be blessed with love, peace and power.  Only because Jesus loved all of us and died for our sins so we may  have the opportunity to celebrate his life, death and resurrection on this EASTER.

Thank you for studying with us today and may you receive all that you desire from the Lord as you walk into your divine destiny…

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